Sermons

Summary: This message examines the dangers of just going through the motions of religion without any relationship with the Lord.

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Apr-01

Revised Nov-02

DO YOU HAVE RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP?

2 TIMOTHY 4:3-5

Our text paints for us what I believe is a very accurate picture of the times that we live in… It gives us an example of what we are seeing everyday around us… Even though Paul here is specifically speaking to Timothy, a preacher… I believe this passage is also a relevant word for the body of Christ as a whole… Even though Paul is trying to tell Timothy about the church folk of his day, I believe this scenario would fit comfortably right in the middle of some of our congregations today…

Many folks in the church:

Live right here in the midst of our text…

Are prime examples of what Paul was talking about…

Have the same biographical profile of these people that Paul was trying to warn us about…

And as I looked at this text, the Lord began to show me a picture of the church today… As I looked at this, I began to realize that many folks don’t want to hear the Word… They just want to be entertained… Amused… Pacified…

They want to shout and cut a step, just for the sake of doing it and then say, “We had church…!”

They want to shout and holler for the preacher, and they can’t tell you what he(she)was talking about at the end, but say, “Chile, he(she) preached…!”

(Trying to say…) I’ve discovered that these people have religion, but not relationship…! They have gravy, but no meat…! The question that I want to ask is, “Have You Got Religion Or Relationship…?” It’s an important question, because you need to know the difference between religion and relationship… You see…

Religion is what you do over and over…

Religion is what you do continuously…

Religion is your rituals, your customs, your habitual activities… (Help you) Even the devil is religious…!

The Bible says, “He walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour…” (1 Peter 5:8) IOW He’s constantly (religiously) going around looking for you and for me so that he can take us out…! (“He’s on the prowl…”)(Trying to say…) Religion is that which you do habitually… But relationship is something altogether different…

Relationship is a connection, an association between you and something else…

Relationship is the kinship that exists between you and someone else…

Relationship is the camaraderie/ companionship that exists between you and those that you are close to…

(Point) And in order to have relationship, there must first be a fellowship…. (Get that later…) What I’m trying to say is that you need more than just religion; you need more than just a habit… You need a relationship with God…!

(Why?) Because there are some dangers in just simply having religion and no relationship… You see, when you only have religion and not a relationship, you…

Can’t handle storms…

Can’t deal with tough times…

Won’t be able to persevere in the midst of adversity…

Won’t be able to deal with the attacks of the enemy…

Your faith will become faulty…

Your praise will become passive…

Your witness will become weak…

Your testimony will become tired…

And so Paul paints for us in our text, a picture of what happens to those who only have religion and no relationship… He says that the problem with having only religion and no relationship is that…

I. THEY REFUSE THE WORD

“The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…”

·Endure: anechomai (an-ekh’-om-ahee); to hold oneself up against, i.e. (figuratively) put up with; tolerate, accept

·Doctrine: didaskalia (did-as-kal-ee’-ah); instruction (the function or the information): learning, teaching, policy

They only want what makes them feel, look, and sound good… And instead of learning the Word, they get caught up in meaningless discussions and disputes…

But the Bible says (1 Pet 2:2) that we should be “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…” The reason most folks can’t progress in God is because they refuse to learn and live by His Word… And many of those that do are satisfied with the ‘milk’ of the Word only… They want to stay on the basics and not delve off deep into the Word…

(Ps 1:1-2...)“(Help you) Relationship involves getting to know the one you have the relationship with…! IOW Relationship requires intimacy (Not always sex… But a time of closeness, familiarity, confidence…) And the only way to have a relationship with God, is to KNOW Him and KNOW His Word…! (They Refuse The Word…)

II. THEY RELISH WHAT IS WRONG

Relish: Enjoy, delight in, savor, take pleasure in.

The pleasures of this world are like cotton candy: It looks good, tasty, and inviting; but when you bite into it, you discover it’s nothing but air…! (Problem) The World Pleases Us Too Easily…!

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